Crime

Two Florida cold-case murders solved with DNA used to exonerate wrongfully convicted death-row inmate

A pair of men already serving life behind bars have been charged in two Tampa Bay-area cold case murders thanks to DNA evidence that previously helped exonerate a death row inmate.

Robert Duboise, 18 at the time, was wrongfully arrested for the murder of 19-year-old Barbara Grams, a 19-year-old who was raped and found beaten to death behind a dental office in Tampa in 1983. He spent nearly 37 years in prison before he was freed in 2020, according to The Innocence Project, which represented him.

On Thursday afternoon, almost four decades after Grams’ murder, Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, announced investigators had at last identified her killers, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He said DNA evidence identified Amos Robinson and Abraham Scott as suspects in the case as well as another unsolved rape and murder from the same year.

Linda Lanson, a freelance photographer, was last seen leaving her apartment in the Woodland Terrace area on July 10, 1983. A jogger found her body the next day roughly 13 miles away in a ditch along Old Memorial Highway. She suffered from a fatal gunshot wound.

“These men are serial murderers and rapists, and although they’re already serving life sentences, their crimes against Barbara Grams and Linda Lanson cannot — and will not — go unpunished,” said Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, who was hastily suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday.

“They are still alive and they will finally face a reckoning for what they did.”

Both men — already behind bars for the murder of a man who was kidnapped, beaten and run over with his own car in October 1983 — were charged on Thursday in the rapes and murders of both women.

Scott, 57, is jailed at Okeechobee Correctional Institution, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Robinson, who turned 59 on Friday, is being held at the Union Correctional Institution.

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